I am home. And I survived, despite the actions of that darned Higher Being who is out to get me.
Have to wonder what I did to deserve that.
We left off last entry with the smashed toe. It was still hurting the next day, Labor Day, when I left for my trip, and by the time I'd been on the road several hours (and made it to Crater Lake), had turned a lovely shade of blackened-blue.
That picture isn't even the most colorful it got. Another 24 hours gave it even a wider palette of hue, but by then I was too busy with Not Dying of Dysentery on the Oregon Trail to take a picture.
(It wasn't really dysentery, but I did end up getting that stomach flu from my nephew. I made it all the way to Portland, and promptly threw up upon arriving at Steph's place. She must really love me.
Then again, maybe not so much.)
The drive up was beautiful, at least, and before my abdomen started feeling queasy, I spent some time at Crater Lake taking a bunch of pictures:
Basically reestablishing that Crater Lake is the most beautiful place in Creation.
There was a forest fire burning up the woods to the north of the Lake. Fortunately, not near enough to the route I had to take that it would delay my drive to Portland.
The roads to and from Crater Lake are beautiful, but the northern route — taking OR-138 through the Umpqua National Forest — feels like a drive into forever. Beautiful forever, to be sure, but forever. I didn't get a chance to take pictures (I was on a mission to get to Portland before it got too late), but if you do it, I highly recommend taking the time to meander through, and maybe spend the night at some lodge along the way.
At any rate. I didn't realize that all this time my body was busy incubating the most horrible 24-hour virus known to Sarahkind; the effects didn't start to be felt until about an hour outside of Milwaukie, where my friend lives, though I guess I should be thankful that everything stayed in until I actually got to a toilet. To be crude: I spent about 18 hours purging my digestive tract of every foreign substance. From both ends. (Fortunately not at the same time.) To be even cruder: by hour 12 or so, when there wasn't much of substance left to eject, it started to have the color and texture of baby poop.
Steph spent a lot of time laughing at the sounds I was making. I had to laugh, too, between the crying and the cursing of that Higher Being.
It took a few days to fully recover (my appetite), but I did manage to venture out for decent food, wandering around the Hawthorne area and, of course, a required pilgrimage to Powell's Books. Sadly another pictureless adventure, but it was also a short trip, since I think Steph got a little bored by hour two, whereas I could have probably lasted until closing the next day. I made it out with a paper-bagful of books, and a total cost to me of about $34 (thanks to Lauren for the $30 gift certificate he gave me last year!).
Most of the time with Steph was necessarily laid-back. My stomach couldn't take much food or drink, and I tired easily what with still recuperating. We did do one Big Night Out(tm) to Pok Pok and had a drink at the Gold Dust Meridian, and I was very pleased with myself for actually being able to enjoy the entire thing.
And I think that's it for now. Next time I'll cover the Washington portion of my trip, which involved less bodily suffering, and more dangerous close encounters. Stay tuned.